Characterization of a Splicing Variant of Plant Aurora Kinase

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Aurora kinases play a key role in chromosome segregation and cytokinesis. In plants, three Aurora kinases (AtAUR1–AtAUR3) have been identified in Arabidopsis thaliana. Here, we report an AtAUR2 splicing variant (AtAUR2S), which lacks the fourth exon encoding a part of the kinase domain of AtAUR2. AtAUR2S was shown to have lost its kinase activity to phosphorylate histone H3 at Ser10; however, it maintained its ability to bind to histone H3. The localization pattern of AtAUR2S was the same as that of AtAUR2. The findings suggest that AtAUR2S affects cell division by competing with AtAUR2.

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